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Stocks

India shares decline as investors await GDP data

State Bank, Housing Development, Axis Bank fall

MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Indian shares edged lower on Wednesday, as caution ahead of the nation's September-quarter gross domestic product data overshadowed bargain buying in select stocks.

The benchmark BSE Sensex fell 0.1%, or 15.83 points, to close at 33,602.76, after rising as much as 0.3% earlier. The broader Nifty 50 edged 0.1% lower, or 8.95 points, to 10,361.30.

Financial stocks retreated on Wednesday, with the nation's largest lender State Bank of India dropping 1.2%. Mortgage lending heavyweight Housing Development Finance Corp. lost 1.3% and private lender Axis Bank declined 2.3%.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries added 0.3%, while engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro rose 0.4% after both the stocks shed 0.8% on Tuesday. Coal India advanced 0.7% for its fourth consecutive advance, while cigarette maker ITC added 0.5% after two sessions lower.

"We saw some value buying today," said Akash Jain, vice president at Ajcon Global Services. "I am bullish on the markets in the long term. Private capital expenditure recovery is expected to begin in January, and this will boost lending and corporate earnings will likely pick up in 2018."

India's GDP data for the July-September quarter is due Thursday after market hours. According to a Reuters poll of analysts, the GDP likely rose 6.4 % from a year earlier in the period, accelerating from the preceding quarter's 5.7%

On Wednesday, as many 18 of the 30 Sensex constituents ended higher , while overall declining issues beat advancing ones 1,370 to 1,337 and 145 remained unchanged.

Jet Airways (India) rose 1.9% after the carrier said it expanded its partnership with Air France-KLM to tap growing air traffic between India and the West, and to also explore ways to reduce operating costs.

Siemens' Indian unit lost 1.4% to 1,197.95 rupees after Deutsche Bank cut its target price to 1,030 rupees from 1,100 rupees and retained its "sell" rating, citing elevated valuations.

Dr.Reddy's Laboratories edged 0.5% lower. The drug maker said it was served a class action lawsuit in the U.S. The company said the claims were "without merit" and it "intends to vigorously defend itself against the allegations."

Britannia industries gained 0.3% to 4,809.65 rupees. Jefferies started covering the stock with a "hold" rating and a target price of 4,850 rupees.

--Nivedita Naidu

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